SEE: Customised sneakers by esteemed SA artist worth R7.7m unveiled in Dubai

SEE: Customised sneakers by esteemed SA artist worth R7.7m unveiled in Dubai

Dr Esther Mahlangu making international waves, yet again!

sneakers esther mahlangu

The past week we have been talking about billion Rands, thanks to the the UN an Elon Musk's interaction. Here's another one - R7.7 million for a pair of Air Jordan sneakers by an esteemed South African artist, Esther Mahlangu. 

This took place at the Expo 2020 Dubai event at the South African Pavilion where a variety of features took place - live performances, souvenirs, interactive investment hubs, and fashion displays. 

SEE: Proudly SA artist designs special heritage tin for Nescafé Ricoffy

Among those events and features, was 'Ayashisa Amateki' which highlighted the sneaker culture in SA and saw South African artists add customise sought-after sneakers with their art. 

The Ayashisa Amateki academy was founded by Prince Menzi Mthethwa to teach young people to customise sneakers. He then commissioned SA's treasured artist, Mahlangu, to customise the Air Jordan 1 sneakers.

These sneakers with Ndebele designs hand-painted by Mahlangu using a chicken feather, cost about $500 000 which is about R7.5-million this side. Bid deal, right? 

But there's a little bit of a catch - they are not for sale. 

READ MORE: Artist surprises museum with blank pieces of art after being paid R1.27-million

Instead, they are being taken on a world tour to pay for scholarships at the Ayashisa Amateki academy.

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The sneakers will first be taken on a national tour in South Africa then go to galleries in Paris, London, and New York.

Mthethwa shared with Business Insider, 

READ MORE: Makhadzi drops new album featuring top SA artists

He continued, "Before it goes to Paris, we're going to do a national tour. We must give South Africans a peak of what we have before it goes out. Our people need to have access to this thing."

Here are some of the scenes from Expo 2020 Dubai: 

READ MORE: Kelly Rowland praises SA visual artist Nelson Makamo

Although we feel they should be for sale at some point, it is an amazing initiative and cause that they will help fund the education of young artists in the field. 

Halala, Dr Esther Mahlangu! 


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Main Image Courtesy: @khawula_musa

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